Is it better to take magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate?


Are you wondering which is better: magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate? These two forms of magnesium supplements, both important minerals, are widely used and offer essential benefits for the body's functions, including glycine for intestinal absorption. But understanding their differences is crucial in selecting the right one for you. Both forms provide mg in varying amounts, so it's important to consider your specific needs before making a decision.

Magnesium citrate, a mineral compound, is known for its high intestinal absorption rate, making it an important mineral for the body. On the other hand, magnesium glycinate, one of the dietary supplements, is a chelated form that provides optimal absorption through the digestive system. It does not have a laxative effect like magnesium citrate. Another form of magnesium supplement, magnesium threonate, is also available.


So, why does the choice of dietary supplement matter? Well, your choice depends on various factors such as your intake preferences, desired doses, and specific needs. Whether you're looking to support digestion or increase intestinal absorption of an important mineral like magnesium, considering these distinctions will help guide your decision for an essential mineral dietary supplement.

Let's further explore the world of magnesium citrate and glycinate to uncover which one is more suitable for you. In recent research, it has been found that glycine, an essential mineral, plays a crucial role in intestinal absorption.

Understanding the Differences: Citrate vs. Glycinate

Magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate are two popular forms of magnesium supplements available on the market. While they both provide essential magnesium to the body, there are notable differences between them that can impact your choice. Let's delve into these differences to help you make an informed decision about the specific health benefits, acid, oxide, and doses.

Absorption Rate: Citrate Takes the Lead

One significant difference between magnesium citrate and glycinate is their absorption rate in the body. Magnesium citrate, with its superior bioavailability, is more easily absorbed by the digestive tract compared to glycinate. This higher absorption rate ensures that a larger percentage of magnesium oxide is utilized by your system, maximizing its potential benefits.

Digestive Friendliness: Glycinate Takes It Easy

On the other hand, if you have concerns about digestive issues or experiencing laxative effects from magnesium supplements, magnesium glycinate may be a better option for you. While citrate can sometimes cause gastrointestinal discomfort or looseness of stools due to its rapid absorption and osmotic effect, glycinate is generally considered gentler on the stomach. Magnesium glycinate offers specific health benefits for body health and does not contain acid or oxide.

Personal Needs and Preferences Matter

When deciding whether to choose magnesium citrate or glycinate, it's crucial to consider your individual needs and preferences. Here are some factors to keep in mind when conducting research.

  1. Absorption Speed: If you're looking for quick relief from symptoms related to magnesium deficiency such as muscle cramps or fatigue, citrate's faster absorption may be more suitable.

  2. Digestive Sensitivity: If you have a sensitive stomach or a history of digestive issues with other supplements, glycinate's milder nature might be a preferable choice.

  3. Specific Benefits: Depending on your health goals, one form may offer additional advantages over the other. For example:Magnesium citrate has been associated with promoting regular bowel movements and aiding constipation relief.Magnesium glycinate is often favored for its potential to support relaxation, calmness, and improved sleep quality.

Ultimately, the decision between magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate boils down to what works best for you. It's always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian who can assess your specific needs and make personalized recommendations.

Benefits of Magnesium Glycinate for Health

Magnesium glycinate is a form of magnesium that offers numerous health benefits. From supporting better sleep quality to reducing symptoms of anxiety and stress, this particular type of magnesium is becoming increasingly popular among individuals looking to improve their overall health.

Magnesium plays a crucial role in many bodily functions, making it essential for maintaining good health. However,The latter has certain advantages worth considering.

Supports Better Sleep Quality and Relaxation

One of the key benefits of magnesium glycinate is its ability to promote improved sleep quality and relaxation. Many people struggle with sleep issues due to various factors such as stress, anxiety, or restless leg syndrome. Magnesium glycinate can help alleviate these problems by calming the nervous system and relaxing the muscles, leading to more restful nights.

Reduces Symptoms of Anxiety and Stress

Another specific health benefit offered by magnesium glycinate is its potential in reducing symptoms of anxiety and stress. In today's fast-paced world, many individuals experience high levels of stress on a regular basis. Studies have shown that magnesium supplementation can help regulate the body's stress response system, leading to a sense of calmness and relief from anxiety.

Gentle on the Stomach

For those with sensitive digestion or gastrointestinal issues, magnesium glycinate is an excellent choice. Unlike other forms of magnesium that may cause stomach discomfort or diarrhea when taken in higher doses, this form is gentle on the stomach. It allows individuals with sensitive digestive systems to enjoy the benefits without experiencing any adverse effects.

Promotes Cardiovascular Health

Maintaining heart health is crucial for overall well-being. Magnesium glycinate contributes to cardiovascular health by helping regulate blood pressure levels. High blood pressure can strain the heart and increase the risk of heart disease. By incorporating magnesium glycinate into your diet or supplementation routine, you can support healthy blood pressure levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues.

Aids in Blood Sugar Regulation

Another significant benefit of magnesium glycinate is its role in regulating blood sugar levels. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition. Magnesium glycinate helps improve insulin sensitivity, allowing for better control over blood sugar levels. By incorporating this form of magnesium into their diet, individuals can support their energy production and maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Benefits of Magnesium Citrate for Health

Magnesium citrate is a popular supplement known for its numerous health benefits. Let's explore some of the key advantages it offers:

Promotes Regular Bowel Movements and Relieves Constipation

One of the primary benefits of magnesium citrate is its efficacy as a laxative. It helps regulate bowel movements and provides relief from constipation. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who struggle with irregularity or digestive issues.

When consumed, magnesium citrate draws water into the intestines, softening the stool and making it easier to pass. This gentle yet effective action can alleviate discomfort and promote regularity without causing harsh side effects.

Aids in Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure Levels

Maintaining healthy blood pressure levels is crucial for overall cardiovascular well-being. Magnesium citrate has been found to play a role in supporting heart health by helping to regulate blood pressure.

Studies suggest that magnesium supplementation may help lower blood pressure in individuals with hypertension or prehypertension. By relaxing the blood vessels, magnesium citrate allows for improved blood flow, reducing strain on the heart and potentially lowering the risk of heart disease.

Beneficial for Individuals with Low Stomach Acid or Poor Absorption

Some people may have low stomach acid production or difficulties absorbing nutrients effectively. In such cases, magnesium citrate can be particularly advantageous due to its high bioavailability.

The citric acid component in magnesium citrate enhances absorption by facilitating mineral transport across cell membranes. This means that even individuals with compromised digestion or absorption capabilities can still benefit from this form of magnesium supplementation.

Additional Benefits

While these are the main talking points regarding the benefits of magnesium citrate, it's worth mentioning that this mineral may also provide other advantages:

Menopause Support: Magnesium supplementation has shown promise in alleviating symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes and mood swings.

Digestive Health: Magnesium citrate can help soothe the digestive system and relieve symptoms of indigestion, bloating, and heartburn.

Which Form of Magnesium is Better?

There isn't a definitive answer as to which form is better since it depends on individual needs and goals. Different forms of magnesium offer varying benefits, so it's important to understand the specific advantages of each before making a decision.

For those seeking improved sleep or reduced anxiety, magnesium glycinate may be preferable. This form is known for its calming properties and ability to promote relaxation. Glycinate is bonded with the amino acid glycine, which enhances its absorption in the body. By increasing levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation, glycinate can help alleviate stress and anxiety. This form has been found to improve sleep quality by regulating melatonin production. Many people find that taking magnesium glycinate in capsule form before bed leads to a more restful night's sleep.

On the other hand, if constipation relief or support for blood pressure regulation is desired, magnesium citrate might be more suitable. Citrate acts as a natural laxative by drawing water into the intestines, helping to soften stools and ease bowel movements. This makes it an effective way to combat constipation for those struggling with digestive issues. Furthermore, magnesium citrate has been shown to assist in regulating blood pressure due to its ability to relax blood vessels and improve circulation.

It's worth noting that these are just two examples among many forms of magnesium available on the market. Magnesium oxide is another commonly used form; however, it offers lower bioavailability compared to other forms such as citrate and glycinate. While oxide contains a higher percentage of elemental magnesium by weight than other forms, its poor absorption rate limits its effectiveness.

When choosing between different forms of magnesium, it's essential to consider personal circumstances and consult with a healthcare professional if necessary. Factors such as existing health conditions or medications being taken can influence which form would be most beneficial.

Factors to Consider in Choosing a Magnesium Supplement

Choosing the right magnesium supplement can be overwhelming with so many options available. To make an informed decision, it's essential to consider several factors that will help determine whether magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate is better suited for your needs.

Consider Your Specific Health Concerns

When selecting a magnesium supplement, it's crucial to consider your specific health concerns. Different forms of magnesium may have varying effects on the body, making it important to choose one that aligns with your goals. For instance, if you're looking to improve sleep quality, studies suggest that magnesium glycinate may be more effective due to its calming properties. On the other hand, if you're aiming to support regular bowel movements, magnesium citrate might be a better choice as it acts as a natural laxative.

Evaluate Potential Allergies or Sensitivities

Before incorporating any dietary supplement into your routine, it's essential to evaluate potential allergies or sensitivities. Some individuals may experience adverse reactions or digestive issues when consuming certain forms of magnesium. If you have known allergies or sensitivities, consult with a healthcare professional who can guide you towards a suitable option based on your individual needs.

Consult with a Healthcare Professional

Determining the appropriate dosage of magnesium is crucial for optimal results and safety. Consulting with a healthcare professional will ensure that you take the correct amount based on your individual requirements. They can assess your current nutrition and evaluate your overall health status to provide personalized recommendations.

Bioavailability and Magnesium Levels

Bioavailability refers to how easily the body absorbs and utilizes nutrients from supplements or foods. When considering which form of magnesium is better for you, understanding bioavailability is key. Magnesium glycinate has high bioavailability and is readily absorbed by the body, making it an excellent choice for individuals with low magnesium levels.

Current Nutrition and Individual Needs

Your current nutrition plays an essential role in determining which magnesium supplement is best for you. If your diet already provides enough magnesium, a lower-dose supplement may be sufficient. However, if you have specific dietary restrictions or deficiencies, a higher-dose supplement might be necessary to meet your individual needs.

Potential Side Effects and Effectiveness of Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium supplements have gained popularity for their potential health benefits, especially in addressing magnesium deficiency. However, it is essential to be aware of the potential side effects and understand the effectiveness of different forms of magnesium supplementation.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects

One common concern with magnesium supplements is their impact on the gastrointestinal system. When taken in excess, certain forms of magnesium can cause gastrointestinal distress such as diarrhea or upset stomach. This is particularly true for magnesium citrate, which has a laxative effect due to its ability to draw water into the intestines. On the other hand, magnesium glycinate is generally better tolerated by individuals with sensitive digestive systems.

Varied Effectiveness

The effectiveness of magnesium supplements can vary depending on several factors. Absorption plays a crucial role in determining how much magnesium your body actually absorbs and utilizes. Different forms of magnesium have varying absorption rates, with some being more bioavailable than others. Magnesium glycinate, for instance, is often touted as having higher absorption rates compared to other forms like magnesium citrate.

Individual needs also come into play when considering the effectiveness of magnesium supplementation. Some people may have a subclinical deficiency that can benefit from supplementation, while others may require higher doses due to specific symptoms or conditions like anxiety or muscle cramps. Consulting a healthcare professional can help determine the appropriate dosage and form based on individual requirements.

To minimize potential side effects and maximize effectiveness, it is crucial to follow recommended dosages when taking any form of magnesium supplement. Taking excessively high doses without medical guidance can lead to adverse effects such as digestive issues or even toxicity.

It's important to note that while many anecdotal reports suggest calming effects from magnesium supplementation, scientific evidence supporting these claims remains limited. More research is needed to fully understand the extent and mechanisms behind such effects.


In conclusion, when choosing between magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate, it is important to consider your individual needs and preferences. Both forms of magnesium offer unique benefits for overall health and well-being.

Magnesium glycinate is known for its high bioavailability, meaning that it is easily absorbed by the body. This form of magnesium is often recommended for individuals who are looking to support relaxation, promote better sleep, and manage stress levels. Magnesium glycinate may be beneficial for those with digestive sensitivities since it is less likely to cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

On the other hand, magnesium citrate is commonly used as a laxative due to its ability to promote bowel movements. It can be helpful for individuals struggling with occasional constipation or irregularity. Magnesium citrate also has a higher solubility compared to other forms, making it easier to dissolve in water or other liquids.

Ultimately, the choice between magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate depends on your specific goals and concerns. Factors such as your digestive health, sleep patterns, stress levels, and personal preferences should all be taken into consideration.

When considering which form of magnesium supplement to take, it may be helpful to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized advice based on your individual needs. They can help you determine the most suitable option for you and guide you towards achieving optimal health.

Remember that while supplements can play a role in supporting overall wellness, they should not replace a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle choices. It's important to maintain a nutritious diet rich in foods that naturally contain magnesium such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes.

Incorporating regular physical activity into your routine can also contribute to better overall health, including maintaining optimal magnesium levels. Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water, especially if you are taking chelated magnesium orotate supplements. Stay informed about the latest magnesium research to ensure you are making informed decisions about your health.

Take charge of your well-being by making informed decisions about your supplement choices, including chelated magnesium, magnesium lactate, and magnesium oxide, and embracing a holistic approach to health! Ensure optimal magnesium levels for overall wellness.


Q: Can I take both magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate together?

A: It is generally safe to take both forms of magnesium together, but it's important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage for your specific needs.

Q: Are there any potential side effects of taking magnesium supplements?

A: While magnesium supplements are generally safe for most people, some individuals may experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort or diarrhea. If you experience any adverse effects, it is recommended to reduce the dosage or discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.

Q: How long does it take for magnesium supplements to start working?

A: The time it takes for magnesium supplements to take effect can vary depending on various factors such as your individual metabolism and current magnesium levels. It is advisable to give it a few weeks of consistent use before expecting noticeable results.

Q: Can I get enough magnesium from my diet alone?

A: While it is possible to obtain sufficient amounts of magnesium through a balanced diet, many people may not consume enough foods rich in this mineral. Supplements can be a convenient way to ensure an adequate intake, especially if you have specific health concerns or dietary restrictions.

Q: Is one form of magnesium better than the other for sleep improvement?

A: Both magnesium glycinate and citrate have been reported by some individuals as helpful in promoting better sleep. However, since everyone's body chemistry is different, what works best for one person may not work as effectively for another. It may require some experimentation to find the right form that suits your individual needs.

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